DIIV at Brooklyn Bowl
DIIV lead singer Zachary Smith seems to be quite popular with the ladies. When he came out on stage all I kept hearing behind me was "Oh my God he's so cute!" and the like. Then DIIV started playing and before too long those lovestruck young ladies were displaced by moshing young men. As I heard the pitter-patter of their shoulders bouncing off my spine I thought to myself: "Dammit, I liked the girls better."
Mr. Smith looks a little like Kurt Cobain, and sure enough he has claimed in interviews to be influenced by Nirvana. His look might be, but musically I just don't hear it. The defining feature of DIIV's music seems to be a high-pitched guitar part, the opposite of Nirvana's deeper, metal-influenced sound. DIIV doesn't do the quiet-loud thing either. Their songs are pretty constant, and for that matter somewhat repetitive. There are subtle changes over the course of their songs but none of that aggressive stuff. Then there are the airy, indistinct vocals. Okay, maybe they have one thing in common with Nirvana but they remind me far more of a New Wave band, specifically British bands such as Joy Division, Flock of Seagulls (yes, really) and perhaps even The Cure.
Strange then that people were moshing to their music. There was a certain positive energy in the room, something those other bands I've mentioned were not really known for. Perhaps it is that high-pitched guitar part, floating over the room, soft and light, effusing us with a message "Not to worry, it's all right." Or maybe it was the fact that the band itself seemed to be having fun on stage. They certainly didn't spend all their time moping or staring at the floor. Whatever it is there is something about these guys which seemed to put everyone in a good mood, except of course for those of us who were busy receiving an amateur deep tissue massage.